Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – East Peoria IL

How to Find the Right Nursing Program near East Peoria Illinois

East Peoria IL surgical nurse assisting surgeonFinding the best nursing school near East Peoria IL may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional things to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

East Peoria IL Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as East Peoria IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the East Peoria IL area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN Programs

East Peoria IL LPN assisting patientThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at East Peoria IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in East Peoria ILNow that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near East Peoria IL or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in East Peoria IL for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some East Peoria IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the East Peoria IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with East Peoria IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Online Nursing Degrees

woman attending nursing school online in East Peoria ILEnrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some East Peoria IL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near East Peoria IL?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater East Peoria Illinois area.  If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

East Peoria, Illinois

East Peoria is a city in Tazewell County, Illinois, United States. The population was 23,402 at the 2010 census. East Peoria is part of the Peoria, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area, located across the Illinois River from downtown Peoria. It is home to many Caterpillar Inc. facilities.

The city is also the site of the home campus of Illinois Central College, a regional community college and the Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino. The main commercial area of East Peoria is just across the river from downtown Peoria. In concert with the renovation of old Caterpillar factories, the development of the downtown Peoria Riverfront Museum and Caterpillar Visitors Center, and the renovation of Interstate 74 and of the area's bridges, East Peoria's downtown and urban area have developed as well. In 2011 and 2012, a major renovation of Washington Street and other downtown and city streets took place, and a full-service Holiday Inn Center featuring a high-level restaurant has been added. Ground was broken in June 2012 for the new Fondulac District Library, which opened in November 2013. The new East Peoria City Hall, adjacent to the library with a shared Civic Plaza, was built and dedicated in 2015.

According to the 2010 census, East Peoria has a total area of 22.147 square miles (57.36 km2), of which 19.96 square miles (51.70 km2) (or 90.13%) is land and 2.187 square miles (5.66 km2) (or 9.87%) is water.[4]

Pick the Right Nursing School near East Peoria IL

East Peoria IL nursing studentChoosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in East Peoria IL.

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